18 May — 2 ‘Azamat   Leave a comment

 

 

MORNING:

And should the servant ascend to even loftier heights, quit this mortal world of dust, and seek to ascend unto the celestial abode, he will then pass from this city into the City of Absolute Nothingness, that is, of dying to self and living in God. In this station, this most exalted habitation, this journey of utter self-effacement, the wayfarer forgetteth his soul, spirit, body, and very being, immerseth himself in the sea of nothingness, and liveth on earth as one unworthy of mention. Nor will one find any sign of his existence, for he hath vanished from the realm of the visible and attained unto the heights of self-abnegation.

Were We to recount the mysteries of this city, the dominions of the hearts of men would be laid to waste in the intensity of their longing for this mighty station. For this is the station wherein the effulgent glories of the Beloved are revealed to the sincere lover and the resplendent lights of the Friend are cast upon the severed heart that is devoted to Him.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 70

EVENING:

Say, Our power cannot be hindered and Our authority shall never be annulled; We elevate whom We please to the glory of might and power; then bring him back, should We will, to the lowest of the low. Do ye think, O people of the earth, if We were to elevate any one to the divine Lote Tree, that My Power and dominion could be prevented from controlling him? No, by Myself, but rather should We please, We will bring him again to the dust in an instant. Look at the tree. We plant it in the garden and water it by the water of Our Providence; and when it becomes of great stature, puts forth green leaves and bears the best fruits, We then send upon it the sweeping wind of command, uproot it and leave it upon the surface of the earth; thus have We been doing and thus will We do with everything — this is from the wonders of Our laws before and after in all things, were ye of those who see. No one can see the wisdom of this save God, the Powerful, the Precious, the Wise! Do ye deny, O people, that which ye see? Woe unto you, O assembly of abnegation: And the One who doth not change is He Himself, the Merciful, the Clement, were ye of those who reflect. Beside Him every one changeth by the will on His part and He is the Almighty, the Precious, the Wise.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 219

Bahá’í House of Worship in Upolu, Samoa

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Therefore, O ye friends of God! Show ye forth an earnest endeavor and display ye a resolute effort, so that ye may become assisted in the adoration of the Ancient Beauty and the Manifest Light; to be the cause of spreading the light of the Sun of Truth; to infuse into the dead, antiquated body of the world a new spirit; to cast in the fields of the hearts pure seeds; to arise in the service of the Cause; to speak with eloquent tongues; to become candles of guidance in the assemblage of the world; to become shining stars in the horizon of existent being; to become merciful birds in the rose-garden of oneness; to sing the melodies of realities and significances; to spend every breath of your lives in the most great Cause; and to devote the period of your existence to the service of this conspicuous Light; so that in the end ye may be freed from loss and failure and attain to the inexhaustible treasury of the Kingdom. For the life of man is wholly subject to danger and impermanency. A person cannot put his assurance even in one moment’s continuity. Notwithstanding this, the nations of the world, deceived by the mirage of superstition, imagine themselves secure in the heavenly way. Alas! Alas! Former communities in bygone ages entertained the same perishing thoughts; but by one of those periodical fluctuations they were all hidden under ground and afflicted with deprivation and loss, except those souls who had become pure evanescence and had arisen with great self-abnegation in the path of God. Such souls shine forth as brilliant stars from the Horizon of the Ancient Glory, and the results which emanated from their lives in succeeding ages and cycles are the proofs of this statement. Therefore, do ye not rest, neither day nor night; seek ye not for composure; talk ye not of the mystery of servitude, and seek ye the path of thralldom; so that through the promised confirmations ye may become assisted from the Kingdom of Oneness.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 566

OF ESPECIAL INTEREST FROM AN EXTENDED SELECTION FROM THE DAWNBREAKERS BY SHOGHI EFFENDI:

“Sixteen lunar months, less twenty and two days, had elapsed since the day of the martyrdom of the Báb, when, on the day of Arafih,* in the year 1267 A.H.,** while I was passing by the gate of the inner courtyard of the shrine of the Imam Husayn, my eyes, for the first time, fell upon Bahá’u’lláh. What shall I recount regarding the countenance which I beheld! The beauty of that face, those exquisite features which no pen or brush dare describe, His penetrating glance, His kindly face, the majesty of His bearing, the sweetness of His smile, the luxuriance of His jet-black flowing locks, left an indelible impression upon my soul. I was then an old man, bowed with age. How lovingly He advanced towards me! He took me by the hand and, in a tone which at once betrayed power and beauty, addressed me in these words: ‘This very day I have purposed to make you known as a Bábí throughout Karbila.’ Still holding my hand in His, He continued to converse with me. He walked with me all along the market-street, and in the end He said: ‘Praise be to God that you have remained in Karbila, and have beheld with your own eyes the countenance of the promised Husayn.’ I recalled instantly the promise which had been given me by the Báb. His words, which I had regarded as referring to a remote future, I had not shared with anyone. These words of Bahá’u’lláh moved me to the depths of my being. I felt impelled to proclaim to a heedless people, at that very moment and with all my soul and power, the advent of the promised Husayn. He bade me, however, repress my feelings and conceal my emotions. ‘Not yet,’ He breathed into my ears; ‘the appointed Hour is approaching. It has not yet struck. Rest assured and be patient.’ From that moment all my sorrows vanished. My soul was flooded with joy. In those days I was so poor that most of the time I hungered for food. I felt so rich, however, that all the treasures of the earth melted away into nothingness when compared with that which I already possessed. ‘Such is the grace of God; to whom He will, He giveth it: He, verily, is of immense bounty.'”

*The ninth day of the month of Dhi’l-Hijjih
** October 5, 1851 A.D.

I now return, after this digression, to my theme. I had been referring to the eagerness with which Siyyid Káẓim had determined to rend asunder those veils which intervened between the people of his day and the recognition of the promised Manifestation. In the introductory pages of his works, entitled Sharh-i-Qasidih and Sharh-i-Khutbih,*he, in veiled language, alludes to the blessed name of Bahá’u’lláh. In a booklet, the last he wrote, he explicitly mentions the name of the Báb by his reference to the term “Dhikru’llah-i-A’zam.” In it he writes: “Addressing this noble ‘Dhikr,’** this mighty voice of God, I say: ‘I am apprehensive of the people, lest they harm you. I am apprehensive of my own self, lest I too may hurt you. I fear you, I tremble at your authority, I dread the age in which you live. Were I to treasure you ” as the apple of my eye until the Day of Resurrection, I would not sufficiently have proved my devotion to you.'”***
[* Chapter 2 of A. L. M. Nicolas’ Essai sur le Shaykhisme, II, is entirely devoted to a detailed enumeration of the hundred and thirty-five works composed by Siyyid Káẓim, among which the following are of outstanding interest:

1. Sharh-i-Khutbiy-i-Tutunjiyyih.
2. Sharh-i-Qasidih.
3. Tafsirih Ayatu’l-Kursi.
4. Dar Asrar-i-Shihihadat-i-Imam Husayn.
5. Cosmography.
6. Dalilu’l-Mutahayyirin.
His works are said to exceed 300 volumes. (A Traveller’s Narrative, Note E, p. 238.)]
** “Dhikr” means “mention,” “remembrance.
*** A. L. M. Nicolas quotes in Chapter 3 of his Essai sur le Shaykhisme, II, p. 43, the following extract from the Sharh-i-Qasidih of Siyyid Kazim: “I have announced that every hundred years there are a chosen few who spread and sow the precepts which explain that which is lawful and that which is unlawful; who tell of the things that were hidden during the hundred preceding years. In other words, in every century a learned and perfect man is found who causes the tree of religious law to revive and bloom; who regenerates its trunk to such an extent that at last the book of Creation comes to its end in a period of twelve hundred years. At that moment, a certain number of perfect men will appear who will reveal certain very intimate things which were hidden…. Therefore, when the twelve hundred years will have been completed, when the first cycle is ended, which depended upon the appearance of the Sun of the Prophet and of the Moon of the Vilayat, then the influence of that cycle is ended and a second cycle begins in which the intimate precepts and hidden meanings of the former cycle are explained.” He himself then adds these words: “In other words, and in order to render clearer this amazing statement which truly needs no interpretation, Siyyid Káẓim tells us that the first cycle which lasts twelve hundred years is solely for the education of the bodies and of the spirits which are dependent upon them. It is like a child in the womb of the mother. The second cycle is for the education of the pure spirits, the souls which have no relation to the world of matter. It is as though God wished to elevate the spirit by means of the performance of its duty in this world. Therefore, when the first cycle is completed, the glory of which is the name of Muhammad, comes the cycle of the education of the intimates. In this cycle the appearances obey the intimates, just as in the preceding cycle the heavenly name of the Prophet, which is Aḥmad, is the place of the appearance, the Master: ‘But this name must necessarily be found to be of the fruit of the best soil and of the purest air.'” Nicolas further adds in a footnote the following words: “The name of Aḥmad mentioned above would lead one to believe that it refers to Shaykh Aḥmad, but one cannot say, however, in speaking of Lahca, that it is the best of lands, or of the purest air. We know, on the contrary, that all the Persian poets sing the praises of Shiraz and of its ideal climate. It is only necessary to see what Shaykh Aḥmad himself said of his country.”] Siyyid Káẓim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       →
How grievously Siyyid Káẓim suffered at the hands of the people of wickedness! What harm that villainous generation inflicted upon him! For years he suffered silently, and endured with heroic patience all the indignities, the calumnies, the denunciations that were heaped upon him. He was destined, however, to witness, during the last years of his life, how the avenging hand of God “destroyed with utter destruction” those that opposed, vilified, and plotted against him. In those days the followers of Siyyid Ibrahim, that notorious enemy of Siyyid Káẓim, banded themselves together for the purpose of stirring up sedition and mischief and endangering the life of their formidable adversary. By every means at their disposal, they sought to poison the minds of his admirers and friends, to undermine his authority, and to discredit his name. No voice was raised in protest against the agitation that was being sedulously prepared by that ungodly and treacherous people, each of whom professed to be the exponent of true learning and the repository of the mysteries of the Faith of God. No one sought to warn or awaken them. They gathered such force and kindled such strife that they succeeded in evicting from Karbila, in a disgraceful manner, the representative official of the Ottoman government, and appropriated for their own sordid aims whatever revenues accrued to him. Their menacing attitude aroused the central government at Constantinople, which despatched a military official to the scene of agitation, with full instructions to quench the fires of mischief. With the force at his command, that official besieged the city, and despatched a communication to Siyyid Káẓim in which he entreated him to pacify the minds of the excited populace. He appealed to him to counsel moderation to its inhabitants, to induce them to relax their stubbornness, and to surrender voluntarily to his rule. Were they to heed his counsels, he promised that he  would undertake to ensure their safety and protection, would proclaim a general amnesty, and would strive to promote their welfare. If they refused, however, to submit, he warned them that their lives would be in danger, that a great calamity would surely befall them.

The Dawn-Breakers, p. 32-35

 

And should the servant ascend to even loftier heights, quit this mortal world of dust, and seek to ascend unto the celestial abode, he will then pass from this city into the City of Absolute Nothingness, that is, of dying to self and living in God. In this station, this most exalted habitation, this journey of utter self-effacement, the wayfarer forgetteth his soul, spirit, body, and very being, immerseth himself in the sea of nothingness, and liveth on earth as one unworthy of mention. Nor will one find any sign of his existence, for he hath vanished from the realm of the visible and attained unto the heights of self-abnegation.

Were We to recount the mysteries of this city, the dominions of the hearts of men would be laid to waste in the intensity of their longing for this mighty station. For this is the station wherein the effulgent glories of the Beloved are revealed to the sincere lover and the resplendent lights of the Friend are cast upon the severed heart that is devoted to Him.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 70

EVENING:

Say, Our power cannot be hindered and Our authority shall never be annulled; We elevate whom We please to the glory of might and power; then bring him back, should We will, to the lowest of the low. Do ye think, O people of the earth, if We were to elevate any one to the divine Lote Tree, that My Power and dominion could be prevented from controlling him? No, by Myself, but rather should We please, We will bring him again to the dust in an instant. Look at the tree. We plant it in the garden and water it by the water of Our Providence; and when it becomes of great stature, puts forth green leaves and bears the best fruits, We then send upon it the sweeping wind of command, uproot it and leave it upon the surface of the earth; thus have We been doing and thus will We do with everything — this is from the wonders of Our laws before and after in all things, were ye of those who see. No one can see the wisdom of this save God, the Powerful, the Precious, the Wise! Do ye deny, O people, that which ye see? Woe unto you, O assembly of abnegation: And the One who doth not change is He Himself, the Merciful, the Clement, were ye of those who reflect. Beside Him every one changeth by the will on His part and He is the Almighty, the Precious, the Wise.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 219

Bahá’í House of Worship in Upolu, Samoa

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Therefore, O ye friends of God! Show ye forth an earnest endeavor and display ye a resolute effort, so that ye may become assisted in the adoration of the Ancient Beauty and the Manifest Light; to be the cause of spreading the light of the Sun of Truth; to infuse into the dead, antiquated body of the world a new spirit; to cast in the fields of the hearts pure seeds; to arise in the service of the Cause; to speak with eloquent tongues; to become candles of guidance in the assemblage of the world; to become shining stars in the horizon of existent being; to become merciful birds in the rose-garden of oneness; to sing the melodies of realities and significances; to spend every breath of your lives in the most great Cause; and to devote the period of your existence to the service of this conspicuous Light; so that in the end ye may be freed from loss and failure and attain to the inexhaustible treasury of the Kingdom. For the life of man is wholly subject to danger and impermanency. A person cannot put his assurance even in one moment’s continuity. Notwithstanding this, the nations of the world, deceived by the mirage of superstition, imagine themselves secure in the heavenly way. Alas! Alas! Former communities in bygone ages entertained the same perishing thoughts; but by one of those periodical fluctuations they were all hidden under ground and afflicted with deprivation and loss, except those souls who had become pure evanescence and had arisen with great self-abnegation in the path of God. Such souls shine forth as brilliant stars from the Horizon of the Ancient Glory, and the results which emanated from their lives in succeeding ages and cycles are the proofs of this statement. Therefore, do ye not rest, neither day nor night; seek ye not for composure; talk ye not of the mystery of servitude, and seek ye the path of thralldom; so that through the promised confirmations ye may become assisted from the Kingdom of Oneness.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 566

OF ESPECIAL INTEREST FROM AN EXTENDED SELECTION FROM THE DAWNBREAKERS BY SHOGHI EFFENDI:

“Sixteen lunar months, less twenty and two days, had elapsed since the day of the martyrdom of the Báb, when, on the day of Arafih,* in the year 1267 A.H.,** while I was passing by the gate of the inner courtyard of the shrine of the Imam Husayn, my eyes, for the first time, fell upon Bahá’u’lláh. What shall I recount regarding the countenance which I beheld! The beauty of that face, those exquisite features which no pen or brush dare describe, His penetrating glance, His kindly face, the majesty of His bearing, the sweetness of His smile, the luxuriance of His jet-black flowing locks, left an indelible impression upon my soul. I was then an old man, bowed with age. How lovingly He advanced towards me! He took me by the hand and, in a tone which at once betrayed power and beauty, addressed me in these words: ‘This very day I have purposed to make you known as a Bábí throughout Karbila.’ Still holding my hand in His, He continued to converse with me. He walked with me all along the market-street, and in the end He said: ‘Praise be to God that you have remained in Karbila, and have beheld with your own eyes the countenance of the promised Husayn.’ I recalled instantly the promise which had been given me by the Báb. His words, which I had regarded as referring to a remote future, I had not shared with anyone. These words of Bahá’u’lláh moved me to the depths of my being. I felt impelled to proclaim to a heedless people, at that very moment and with all my soul and power, the advent of the promised Husayn. He bade me, however, repress my feelings and conceal my emotions. ‘Not yet,’ He breathed into my ears; ‘the appointed Hour is approaching. It has not yet struck. Rest assured and be patient.’ From that moment all my sorrows vanished. My soul was flooded with joy. In those days I was so poor that most of the time I hungered for food. I felt so rich, however, that all the treasures of the earth melted away into nothingness when compared with that which I already possessed. ‘Such is the grace of God; to whom He will, He giveth it: He, verily, is of immense bounty.'”

*The ninth day of the month of Dhi’l-Hijjih
** October 5, 1851 A.D.

I now return, after this digression, to my theme. I had been referring to the eagerness with which Siyyid Káẓim had determined to rend asunder those veils which intervened between the people of his day and the recognition of the promised Manifestation. In the introductory pages of his works, entitled Sharh-i-Qasidih and Sharh-i-Khutbih,*he, in veiled language, alludes to the blessed name of Bahá’u’lláh. In a booklet, the last he wrote, he explicitly mentions the name of the Báb by his reference to the term “Dhikru’llah-i-A’zam.” In it he writes: “Addressing this noble ‘Dhikr,’** this mighty voice of God, I say: ‘I am apprehensive of the people, lest they harm you. I am apprehensive of my own self, lest I too may hurt you. I fear you, I tremble at your authority, I dread the age in which you live. Were I to treasure you ” as the apple of my eye until the Day of Resurrection, I would not sufficiently have proved my devotion to you.'”***
[* Chapter 2 of A. L. M. Nicolas’ Essai sur le Shaykhisme, II, is entirely devoted to a detailed enumeration of the hundred and thirty-five works composed by Siyyid Káẓim, among which the following are of outstanding interest:

1. Sharh-i-Khutbiy-i-Tutunjiyyih.
2. Sharh-i-Qasidih.
3. Tafsirih Ayatu’l-Kursi.
4. Dar Asrar-i-Shihihadat-i-Imam Husayn.
5. Cosmography.
6. Dalilu’l-Mutahayyirin.
His works are said to exceed 300 volumes. (A Traveller’s Narrative, Note E, p. 238.)]
** “Dhikr” means “mention,” “remembrance.
*** A. L. M. Nicolas quotes in Chapter 3 of his Essai sur le Shaykhisme, II, p. 43, the following extract from the Sharh-i-Qasidih of Siyyid Kazim: “I have announced that every hundred years there are a chosen few who spread and sow the precepts which explain that which is lawful and that which is unlawful; who tell of the things that were hidden during the hundred preceding years. In other words, in every century a learned and perfect man is found who causes the tree of religious law to revive and bloom; who regenerates its trunk to such an extent that at last the book of Creation comes to its end in a period of twelve hundred years. At that moment, a certain number of perfect men will appear who will reveal certain very intimate things which were hidden…. Therefore, when the twelve hundred years will have been completed, when the first cycle is ended, which depended upon the appearance of the Sun of the Prophet and of the Moon of the Vilayat, then the influence of that cycle is ended and a second cycle begins in which the intimate precepts and hidden meanings of the former cycle are explained.” He himself then adds these words: “In other words, and in order to render clearer this amazing statement which truly needs no interpretation, Siyyid Káẓim tells us that the first cycle which lasts twelve hundred years is solely for the education of the bodies and of the spirits which are dependent upon them. It is like a child in the womb of the mother. The second cycle is for the education of the pure spirits, the souls which have no relation to the world of matter. It is as though God wished to elevate the spirit by means of the performance of its duty in this world. Therefore, when the first cycle is completed, the glory of which is the name of Muhammad, comes the cycle of the education of the intimates. In this cycle the appearances obey the intimates, just as in the preceding cycle the heavenly name of the Prophet, which is Aḥmad, is the place of the appearance, the Master: ‘But this name must necessarily be found to be of the fruit of the best soil and of the purest air.'” Nicolas further adds in a footnote the following words: “The name of Aḥmad mentioned above would lead one to believe that it refers to Shaykh Aḥmad, but one cannot say, however, in speaking of Lahca, that it is the best of lands, or of the purest air. We know, on the contrary, that all the Persian poets sing the praises of Shiraz and of its ideal climate. It is only necessary to see what Shaykh Aḥmad himself said of his country.”] Siyyid Káẓim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       →
How grievously Siyyid Káẓim suffered at the hands of the people of wickedness! What harm that villainous generation inflicted upon him! For years he suffered silently, and endured with heroic patience all the indignities, the calumnies, the denunciations that were heaped upon him. He was destined, however, to witness, during the last years of his life, how the avenging hand of God “destroyed with utter destruction” those that opposed, vilified, and plotted against him. In those days the followers of Siyyid Ibrahim, that notorious enemy of Siyyid Káẓim, banded themselves together for the purpose of stirring up sedition and mischief and endangering the life of their formidable adversary. By every means at their disposal, they sought to poison the minds of his admirers and friends, to undermine his authority, and to discredit his name. No voice was raised in protest against the agitation that was being sedulously prepared by that ungodly and treacherous people, each of whom professed to be the exponent of true learning and the repository of the mysteries of the Faith of God. No one sought to warn or awaken them. They gathered such force and kindled such strife that they succeeded in evicting from Karbila, in a disgraceful manner, the representative official of the Ottoman government, and appropriated for their own sordid aims whatever revenues accrued to him. Their menacing attitude aroused the central government at Constantinople, which despatched a military official to the scene of agitation, with full instructions to quench the fires of mischief. With the force at his command, that official besieged the city, and despatched a communication to Siyyid Káẓim in which he entreated him to pacify the minds of the excited populace. He appealed to him to counsel moderation to its inhabitants, to induce them to relax their stubbornness, and to surrender voluntarily to his rule. Were they to heed his counsels, he promised that he  would undertake to ensure their safety and protection, would proclaim a general amnesty, and would strive to promote their welfare. If they refused, however, to submit, he warned them that their lives would be in danger, that a great calamity would surely befall them.

The Dawn-Breakers, p. 32-35

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